Yorkshire Premier League is the main attraction on the squash scene at Chapel Allerton this season, with top class squash on our show courts every week. Everyone is invited so bring your friends, and we welcome visitors from other local clubs.
All the players tend to join us in the bar afterwards and it is always a well attended night with a great atmosphere.
Chapel A 1 finished the 2016/17 league as Champions, but they just struggled to maintain their hold for the 2017/18 season, finishing second in the league. This year sees two teams in Premier Division once more so we can host top level squash every Wednesday.
Owain has enjoyed a reasonably successful year of squash, (despite having two months off mid season with injury). Whilst balancing university and professional squash he has reached his highest psa ranking to date of 250 and reached his first psa QF, domestically he’s played some of his best squash though, going almost unbeaten all season in yorskshire league, beating players ranked twice as high as him, and also snuck two games off the world number 24 at the time Chris Simpson. He’s also captained the university team to a silver medal in the national cup and league where he was unbeaten and finished an impressive fourth in the BUCS (British universities) individuals tournament where he beat players ranked top 120.
Simon Parke will again be player/manager this year, bringing up the average age somewhat and playing his own style, giving 100% against his younger opponents. Simon is a former World No3 and British Champion.
I’ve been playing since the age of 9. 5 time Yorkshire junior champion, 2 time North East of England junior champion and British junior open quarter finalist. Currently #17 in England U19s
Niall Mckinnon is one of our loyal club players, reaching the final of the club champs a few years in a row now. He lives in Chapel Allerton and regularly trains at the club. Bringing his Scottish flare to the court, he’s one to watch!
Cameron Ward, age 19, is currently in his second year of study at Leeds College of Music. A very active young player, he could be found inside the top 8 of the national rankings in each age group before a series of injuries halted his progress at 18. He is now back at peak physical fitness and feeling the strongest he ever has.
Last Match Report
Parkey's Match Reports
Powell / Merchant Match Report
Chapel A 1 – v – Hull
The stage was set for an absolute corker, Fuller and Owain arriving stylishly late as always but this didn’t dampen the packed chapel a crowd’s mood.
- Matty Powell VS Glynn Saunders
That’s right people, I’m back from my retirement to racketball after the legend that is Simon Park offering me £4,000 a match with a £1,999.95 win bonus. Eager to impress the crowds I joined my opponent, a 6″ plus warrior from by the river Humber, in a warm up, we exchanged stretches but still there was tension in the air… The first game got underway and I could feel my spirit animal (Ramy Ashour) coursing through my veins once again. Determined to play anything but straight squash I worked my opponent to all four corners well, closing the game out 11-4. After acquiring a stylish headband, courtesy of Ben Merch, I knew I had to continue with the shots to warrant such an audacious accessory. And so I did, a few taxis later and I was 2-0 up. The 3rd was more of a battle with Glynn really stepping up to put me on the back foot, luckily I manage to hold him off and see it out 12-10. 1-0 Chapel A.
- Joe Williams VS Fi Moverley
On the court next to myself was our Kiwi and Fi, a duo some say rival Ant and Dec. Now as I was on court I missed the first couple of games of this one, I’m told it was close. Both players were feeling each other out, chess on legs to quote a famous Barrington. Fi won the first 11-9, but Joe responded well with an 11-7 victory in the second. I can say that the next two followed in typical Joe fashion, high pace and lots of attacking, positive squash. Fi had no response for what Joe threw at her as he romped home 11-4, 11-5 to take it 3-1 and put chapel a 2-0 up.
- Ben Merchant VS Yusef Forster
A battle of two youngsters, both known for their ‘volatility’ on court, this one was going to be tasty. From the first serve the pace was high, and there was a fair bit of congestion round the middle, the marker was going to be needed for this one… A closely contested first was much the result of who could hit fewer tins and block effectively without the marker noticing. In true Merch fashion he prevailed in this area and took it 11-8. The second was a less close affair, Yousef’s head had started to go at this point and Ben could sense that, I counted at least 4 strokes to Ben in that game and he took full advantage of the cheap points winning it 11-4. Someone from the Hull camp must’ve given young Forster a stern talking too (maybe even a clip round the ear) as he came back on court with a face like thunder, he meant business. It was a well fought game with neither player giving much away, the marker was called into question a few times as you could see neither Ben nor Yousef were happy chappies with the decisions. Unfortunately Yousef, the young budding DJ from Hull (available for bookings I’m told, rates negotiable) snatched the 3rd 13-11. This angered young Merch and he was in the mood for dishing out some punishment. He returned to court with one goal in mind; seal the win for Chapel A. He dominated this game, DJ Humber as I’ll call him, forgot what day of the week it was as Merch’s squash onslaught rained down on him like a monsoon. 11-3 and the match for the 1st team.
With the match won and in true returning to student life fashion, I retired to a pub closer to home to rehydrate, flying high from my victory. I’ll now hand you over to our budding reporter Ben ‘the intern’ Merchant for how the story ended on the night….
Chapel A vs Hull (part 2)
- Owain Taylor vs Ben Sockett
At number 2, Owain looked determined to avenge last week’s result. In the first game, he came out firing. He took the first game very quickly 11-3 with some silky shot making. The second game was more competitive with both players working each other into all four corners of the court. However, Ben struggled to finish the rallies, consistently clipping the top of the tin and this proved crucial as Owain won the game 11-7. In the third, it seemed as if the tables had turned. Ben started to monopolise the middle of the court more and he raced into a 7-1 lead whilst Owain struggled to get into the game. However, a lapse in Ben’s concentration let Owain back in and he was soon level at 8-8. Eventually, Owain’s experience prevailed as he played the big points well and took the third game 11-8 and the match 3-0.
- Mark Fuller vs Ben Smith
Lastly, was the 16 year old Ben Smith against the wily old fox, Mark Fuller. Like in any high level match, the first game was a mini marathon in itself. Both players were very evenly matched but to the surprise of some of the home supporters, it was Ben who stayed the more consistent to take the game 13-11. In the second, Mark started to drag Ben from corner to corner in a more consistent manor and this started to take its toll on the youngster as his movement seemed to become slightly lethargic. Mark eventually took the second 11-9. The third and fourth were very similar with both players trading points until 7-7. In the third, Ben dug deep to take it 11-8 to put himself in a commanding position. He then picked up from where he left off and raced into a 5-1 lead in the fourth. With the crowd possibly anticipating an upset, Mark started to play very methodically and this seemed to pay off as he took the game 11-7. By now, Mark’s superior physical attributes were starting to show. Like in the fourth, he played with a lot of thought and extended the rallies. Mark led for the entirety of the game and refused to give Ben any chances. He eventually took the decisive 5th game 11-6 to win 3-2 meaning the final score was 5-0 to Chapel A.
The night was finished off with what was described as ‘kids pub food’ by one of the opposition. This didn’t stop anyone from tucking into sausages, chips and beans to top off a successful night for the Chapel A 1st team.